T Nation

Fixing Anterior/Posterior Imbalance

hey guys. i will start off saying sorry for the book lol. i was a complete jackass when i started lifting. i did many many more exercises working my anterior side than i did my posterior side, never thought of the imbalance it would cause on my shoulders and scapulae. a big part of the reason i didnt do back work was due to previous back injuries and was scared to reinjure myself.

now i am paying for it. many of my numbers completely stopped because of this, i have inflexibility issues in my shoulders, and now have some pretty sharp pain in the inferior part of my left deltoid to where i cant stretch without pain.

i read a while back, The Seven Habits of Highly Defective Benchers, and Eric Cressey mentioned he has similar problems with his shoulders, so he decided to basically do a TON of pulling exercises for several months to where it cured him and pushes his numbers through the roof

my question is: i decided to do the same sort of thing. this is what my routines have looked like the last 2 weeks.

Deadlifts - 5-7x3-6
Rhomboid Pulls - 3x10-12
Face Pulls - 3x10-12
Cable Rows - 3x10-12
DB Shoulder Press - 3x6
Incline Machine Bench Press - 3x10
Calf and Forearm Work
External Rotation Work - 2x20

Hang Clean - 5x5
Rhomboid Pulls, Face Pulls, Cable Rows same as Monday
Chin/Pull Ups - 3x12-15
Weighted Push ups - 3xfail
External Rotation Work
Front Squats - 4x4-6

Deadlift - 5-7x3-6
Rhomboid Pulls, Face Pulls, Cable Rows Same as other days
DB Shoulder Press - 2x20
Calf and forearm work
External Rotation Work - 2x20

On one week i will do exactly how i said above, then the next week i switch so i do the Wed workout on Mon and Fri and the Mon and Fri workout on Wednesday

i have a feeling i am doing way way too much work. i guess i am just desperate to fix the problem. please guys, if you have any advice, let me hear it. also, i do stretches for my shoulders on off days. Thanks in advance!


I would keep the dead lifts to once a week. In my opinion barbell rows will do more to fix that imbalance than any single exercise out there. Rows two or maybe three times a week. Try them bent over, pendlay, one arm…etc. [Notice I didnt mention cable rows.]Face pulls and rhomboid pulls are effective, dont get me wrong, I just think you will much further in a shorter period of time doing heavy rowing.

yeah i completely agree with you. however i really cant do bent over rows though because of my lower back injury, just hurts too damn much. i will throw in some one arm dumb bell rows though